Economic Impacts of Legume Varieties and Rotations: The Case of Faba-beans in the Wheat – Based Production Systems of Morocco
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While the impacts of cereal-legume rotations on soil health are well documented, the literature on their economic benefits is scanty. By applying the propensity score matching and endogenous switching regression methods to a nationally representative sample of 1,230 farm households from the wheat-based production systems in Morocco, this paper provided empirical evidence that: 1) the adoption of improved faba-bean varieties led to 206.2 kg/ha (16%) increase in yields, US$100/ha (11%) higher net returns, and 16 kg/capita/year (28%) increase in faba-bean consumption; 2) The adoption of faba-beans - wheat rotations led to 26% higher yields and 38% higher net returns from the subsequent wheat crop; and 3) the adoption of both improved faba-bean varieties and faba-beans-wheat rotations led to 33% higher total farm income. At the current average national adoption level of 23%, improved varieties led to about 15.7 thousand tons (14%) higher total national faba beans production per year. Therefore, along the biophysical and environmental benefits documented elsewhere, these results suggest that the introduction of improved varieties of legumes as rotation crops in wheat-based systems can also be justified on economic and food security grounds. Enhancing wider adoption of improved varieties and legume-cereal rotations through, creating better access to extension and certified seed delivery services and other means is important.